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Bolt-on framebag:

This is a quick and inexpensive (~C$35) method to add a 2.5 litre framebag to the bottom of the frame triangle. MEC sells a suitable framebag that will fit most frames without any modification beyond cutting off mounting straps. The dimensions of this particular bag are sized to match reasonably well with the typical bottle-boss points on many frames. The perimeter stiffener of this bag results in an installation with excellent stability and minimal deformation.

The general sequence is:

1.) remove cages and screws from frame

2.) test fit bag to frame before removing any straps, and determine if any straps should not be removed

3.) remove straps from the bag and heatseal cut ends

4.) position and centre bag in the frame and mark location of bosses on the inside of the framebag

5.) punch holes in the bag

6.) insert screws into holes and mount bag to bosses.

The resulting installation will hold a couple of 1 litre soft flasks or a flask and a bike bottle. The remaining space can hold a spare tube and pump, and multitool, or other small items.

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Fork & dropper post care


A couple of DIY additions that work well for me.
1. Regular applications of a very small amount Finish Line Stanchion Fluoro Oil. (Just enough to wet the wiper.) I use it on both the fork and dropper post. There is a noticeable improvement in performance, particularly on dropper posts carrying a seatbag. A bottle weighs a few grams and lasts for more than 100 applications. We also use it on my wife’s full-squish trail bike.
2. Inserting a closed-cell foam block into the bottom of the steerer tube. This keeps the tube clean and seems to eliminate star-nut corrosion and related premature failures. The block is cut big enough to stay in place with a 48″ x 3/4″ static strap and buckle, a 48″ x 3/4″ length of OneWrap, and some zip ties stored in the resulting space.

Picture of the tiny bottle of fluoro lube I’ve been using regularly for several years. The yellow foam plug is visible in the bottom of the steerer tube.
48 x 3/4 inch static strap National Molding Standard Tension Release buckle, 48 x 3/4 inch OneWrap, six zip ties, and closed cell foam plug cut from the corner of an old sleeping mat.
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Wahoo Elemnt Bolt mounting onto stem caps

This simple hack takes a few minutes to install and can be moved to different bikes without tools or cutting and replacing of cable ties.  Interlocking Velcro One-Wrap and adhesive backed Loop Velcro yield a sturdy mount and smooth surfaces in the bicycle cockpit.  In this example the Bolt positioning is at an ideal distance and location for the progressive lenses I wear.

The method of interlocking Velcro types is widely applicable.

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Completed mount out on a day ride.

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Cut two narrow strips of One-Wrap to fit into the slots designed to accept cable ties.  These strips are about 4″, 10cm long

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Mount and Bolt assembled and ready for a test fit.

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A strip of adhesive backed Loop Velcro is cut and wrapped around the perimeter of the top of the stem. The Wahoo mount with OneWrap strips is then pressed firmly into the Loop Velcro.

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Lastly, a length of One-Wrap (in this case 7″, 18cm) is then tightly wrapped around the One-Wrap tabs and the underlying Loop Velcro about 1.5 times the circumference to create a secure mount.

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DIY Packraft construction & packing notes

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This post is a work-in-progress documenting changes or additions made during the construction of four Telkwa packrafts purchased from the awesome folks at DIY Packraft. DIY Packrafts are extremely well designed and the kits assemble exactly as demonstrated in the excellent videos and printed instructions.  My intention is to substitute the  Leafield D-7 inflation/deflation valves to replace the supplied Boston valves.  While heavier and more bulky my experience is that inflation/deflation is much quicker due to larger porting, are easily cleaned, and are field-replaceable without thermal welding.

Completed raft #1 with homemade DripDeck made from the supplied inflation bag materials*.  The deck slides open the full length of the cockpit on the perimeter grab line. The black round snaps can be opened for both adjustments and complete removal. Installed weight is ~140 grams. The black 5 mm webbing loops at the rear corners allow the deck to double as a sail in light downwind conditions. * Primary inflation is from a Kokopelli Feather Pump which completes the task in less than one minute!  There are sources on Amazon which appear to have very similar options.  The backup is a spare Klymit inflation bag, modified for the Leafield value.  This bag does double-duty as a storage bag and additional air chamber inside the raft. 

There’s really only one tool that I’ve found that materially improves assembly processes.  It’s a small stainless steel mixing bowl with a flat bottom slightly wider than a typical welding area.  To the bottom of the bowl two parallel strips of 3M double-faced window film sealing tape are added just outside of the working area.  This easily removable tape typically has enough adhesion to complete the welding of one tube segment.  Removal and replacement of the two tape sections takes about a minute.

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Cooking with gas

Boiling water for instant mashed potatoes on the trail.

These are a couple of simple ways to get more efficiency out of your cooking system. The water bath also works very well for using a conventional propane/iso-butane gas stove at extremely low temperatures (below -30). Water bath – The sensible and latent heat in liquid water is used to vapourize the liquid fuel in the gas canister. It’s helpful to tip the bowl enough that air does not get trapped in the concave bottom of the fuel canister. Don’t be alarmed if you hear the fuel boiling inside the canister. As the water starts to show signs of freezing dump it out and add warmer water. The fuel will continue to consistently vapourize as you cook or melt snow. We’ve also set the stove in puddles and streams to achieve the same result. Windscreen – buy a thin flexible cutting sheet from your local shop, punch two holes near the corners of one side, cut and bend a piece of thin wire of a length to bend the cutting sheet. Lean the cutting sheet against the side of your pot to block the wind. This setup also works well with alcohol stoves.

The cutting sheet/windscreen can also be used as a stiffener inside the handlebar roll, and for serving Bikepacker’s Charcuterie. If you want to have a very reliable extreme cold weather stove system have a look at the butane to propane conversion in this blog post of various cold weather bikepacking adaptations.